A kitchen tool, made from a variety of materials such as metal, plastic, silicone, or wood, that is constructed with a handle attached to a flat blade. This kitchen utensil is used for multiple purposes, depending on the shape, size and material in the spatula. The straight shafted spatulas are most often used for scraping food from the sides of pots, stirring ingredients in curved bowls or folding ingredients into each other. They are generally made of a flexible silicone plastic that can move easily around and form into the shape of bowls, pans, and pots. Some silicone spatulas are made to withstand high temperatures, exceeding 400 degrees, providing an all-purpose utensil to assist with meal preparation. Metal spatulas are most often made for lifting, turning, serving, and spreading food toppings.
The size or shape of the spatula will often be indicative of the type of process that best fits the purpose of the spatula. Narrow width spatulas are typically used to apply frostings or spreads, and to access small openings or move easily around bowls and pans to scrape ingredients. The narrow varieties are available in different lengths, such as 6, 8 and 12 inch, either flat or angled, and having a width of 1/2 inch to 2 inches. Wide spatulas are also available in a variety of types and lengths. Wide width or long length spatulas are commonly used for lifting, turning and serving meats or working with larger food items, while the smaller length spatulas work well for lifting and serving smaller food items such as quiche, pie, or cakes.